At what age should they start chores?

GREAT QUESTION!  How about right now?!

If you look up Children and Chores at  you will find several different articles on children helping with household chores. And guess what? They can start right now helping with all kinds of things. Even toddlers LOVE helping to put socks in the basket or towels in the drawer.

Allowing children to help around the house gives them hands on experiences for learning as well as a feeling of independence and responsibility.

It is important to share with the child how you want the task done, let the child do it and then DON’T re-do when they are done.  Did you catch that? It’s OK that there is a wrinkle in the blanket or the fork is upside down. Let them know how proud you are of the work they did and keep modeling the way you would like it done eventually. Remember, you probably had a wrinkle in your bed at that age as well.

What are some chores that you have your children helping with? Share with us!

Lori Korthals, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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7 thoughts on “At what age should they start chores?

  1. My 3 1/2 year old son helps set the table. He also loves to help dust and clean the windows/mirrors because he gets to spray something. I have to admit, I sometimes redo those when he’s not looking! I also ask him to bring me the garbage can from his bathroom when it is time to empty it.

  2. When my daughter was a toddler, not even 2 years old, she wanted a broom so she could sweep. We bought her a child-size broom. I would sweep the kitchen floor first, then she would do what we called the “second sweep.” That way she was learning how to use the broom and she felt like she was helping, without spreading the dirt and crumbs around.

  3. Jody – great ideas on what your son can do. And as you realize it is not so much about the end result but the fact that he is learning “how” plus making household tasks a part of his everyday world. The day will come when you won’t have to redo those mirrors.
    Donna Donald

  4. There are many child-sized cleaning tools available. They make it easier for the kids to do a chore. Plus your child won’t be knocking the dishes off the table with the end of a long broom or mop she can’t handle. 🙂
    Donna Donald

  5. My daughter and her friend just swept and cleaned the porch! Yes it was because they are now making it a ‘fort’ but they still swept away all the cobwebs!

  6. Sometimes we just go with the “result” and not the “why.” 🙂 And the point is they were able to do this themselves. A parent wasn’t first doing it so the kids had a place to play.
    Donna Donald

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